Over the last week I’ve been experimenting with a social messaging/micro blogging service called Plurk. Over the last week I’ve seen many comparisons between it and Twitter – but wanted to show one of the main differences that I’ve observed:
To illustrate let me show you a ‘tweet’ and a ‘plurk’ message that I posted an hour ago:
I shot this question out to my ‘followers/friends’ on both services – “What is the #1 reason that you blog?”
The response was instantaneous on both services. I got great replies on both. There were many more Twitter answers than Plurk ones – but that is because I have around 10 times as many ‘friends’ on Twitter as I do on Plurk.
However there is one main difference….
The responses that emerged on Twitter were a whole lot of individuals responding to me in isolation. Your followers on Twitter don’t know what other people have answered.
On Twitter I saw this page a few minutes after I asked the question:
There’s some great responses there – (and there were another 60 or so) but the problem is I was the only person who saw them ALL.
On Plurk the responses are all grouped together – not only for you to see but for your followers to see also.
Here’s the beginning of the responses on Plurk a few minutes after I plurked:
If you scrolled down further you see that I added a followup question – something that people responded to in the thread:
You can actually view the full Plurk conversation on this page.
This style of conversation means that everyone benefits from the whole conversation – not just me. It means that it’s not unusual for conversations to emerge between your friends as well as between you and your individual friends.
The other thing that I like about Plurk is that conversations are contained and don’t get as mixed up as they do on Twitter.
10 minutes after asking the question on Twitter my ‘replies’ page contained all kinds of messages. Some were still responding to the first question I asked, some to the followup, others were responding to earlier tweets, some had moved on to new topics with me….
Which is Best?
This is the question I’m being asked more and more. Is Plurk ‘better’ than Twitter? My answer is generally that I think both are great. You see there are times where the more communal, multidirectional conversation that Plurk offers is brilliant – but there are other times where you don’t necessarily need it and where the more one on one conversation is more effective.
I also get the feeling that while there is a definite overlap between Twitter and Plurk in terms of who is using them – that there’s a different kind of person using each one. Plurk seems to have emerged out of a younger crowd than Twitter – perhaps this is more useful in some circumstances also.